Tue, Aug 07, 2012
At Least A Dozen Food Vendors Reportedly Considering Pulling Out Of The Event
The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is among the most colorful aviation events that take place in the U.S. each year, but even the slow pace of flight and relaxed atmosphere has not been able to prevent a dust up between food vendors and organizers of the event.
A representative for 19 of the regular food vendors for the Fiesta says that the new vendor manager, a company called "Ovations", has asked that vendors pony up 30 percent of their profits for the privilege of selling at the event rather than their usual flat fee. The representative, Pete Dinelli, told television station KOB in Albuquerque that the vendors offered to increase the flat fee by 15 percent, but the offer was rejected.
While Dinelli said that as many as 12 vendors were pulling out and the "The New Mexico flavor" of the event would be lost, media representatives for the Balloon Fiesta said they were only aware of one vendor who had pulled out of the show. They said that based on revenue figures provided by the vendors since 1996, about half would see no increase in payments under the new formula. They said the change was needed because of increases in costs for such things as electricity, propane tank rental, and other overhead since the last contract adjustment in 2006.
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